State governors from the South-East geo-political zone have reiterated the ban on open grazing in the area.

The chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Dave Umahi, restated this yesterday while responding to an ultimatum from the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

The secessionist group which has a security outfit codenamed Eastern Security Network (ESN) had asked the governors to copy their South-West counterpart which recently banned open grazing. It also threatened to enforce the law already in place but not being implemented.

The destruction of farm lands and criminal activities traced to herdsmen necessitated the demand from the outlawed group.

But speaking yesterday at the APC stakeholders meeting at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State governor said he and his colleagues have already banned the pastoralists from wandering about.

“Governors of South East have been calling on our leaders to speak out on the security of the zone and unity of Nigeria. I read on paper where someone said he was giving governors of South East 7-days to ban open grazing,” he said.

“The governors of southeast had banned open grazing and movement of cows by foot into South East in each of states of the zone. We are managing ourselves well. What we discuss with the herdsmen is the system in place for a long time.

“In our forests today, we have the kidnappers, herdsmen, cultists, all sorts of criminals. Anybody staying in the forest is taking a risk when we say that people should move out of the forests. It is for their safety and security. So, I support that kidnappers, herdsmen, cultists, and bandits should be flushed out of our forests,” Umahi added.

Reacting to the reaffirmation, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB said since the right thing has been done, his group’s security outfit will implement the ban since, according to him, other federal security agencies are not alive to its duties.

“Since South Eastern Governors have now listened and done the right thing, we should all ‘clap’ for them. It is now up to #ESN to rigorously enforce this law the same way Hisbah Police has been dutifully enforcing the Alcohol Prohibition Laws of 12 Sharia states of core Northern Nigeria, most notably in Kano,” the fugitive said on Facebook yesterday.

“It stands to reason that Governors of the East do not have any law enforcement unit capable of policing killer herdsmen except #ESN. Therefore it will be in their best interest to support the efforts of #ESN to ensure this very LAW they made is legally and robustly enforced.

“The best option for Fulani killer herdsmen is for them to vacate the forests and bushes of the East, head into the nearest town to rent an accommodation as other ethnic groups are doing in Fulani controlled core Arewa north, or face the wrath of #ESN. Any police or army unit daft enough to provide armed illegal protection to these Fulani killers with cattle, will regret the day he or she joined the #zoo security services,” Kanu added.